Le Moyne College

Location: Syracuse, New York
Website: http://www.lemoyne.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 2nd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Le Moyne College is not currently rated in our system. To request speech code information about this school, please submit a speech code request form.

  • Le Moyne College: Dismissal of Student Newspaper Adviser

    May 8, 2006

    Le Moyne College dismissed a school newspaper’s adviser for failing to exercise more control over the paper. Professor Alan Fischler had been the paper’s adviser since 1996, when he was chosen by the paper’s staff. When he was dismissed, he was informed by administrators that they wanted a more “hands-on” adviser who would supposedly make the newspaper a “showpiece” for the college. Fischler, who continues to teach at Le Moyne, was replaced by an adviser hand-picked by administrators-a move that spurred a months-long strike by the newspaper’s student staff.

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  • Le Moyne College: Dismissal of Student for Dissenting Views

    February 3, 2005

    Graduate student Scott McConnell handed in an assignment in which he described his ideal classroom — environment which involved “strong discipline and hard work” and which included “corporal punishment.” Though he did well on the assignment, he was summarily dismissed two months later by the Education Department chair, despite his “excellent” evaluation for class work. She cited a “mismatch between [his] personal beliefs regarding teaching and learning and the Le Moyne College program goals.” FIRE wrote to the Le Moyne College president, urging him to honor the College’s commitments to academic freedom and due process. When Le Moyne declined to […]

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Not Rated Policies
  • Student Handbook: The History of LeMoyne College 08-09

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Statement

    As a comprehensive college, accredited by the State of New York
    and the Middle States Association, Le Moyne shares the ideals
    of academic freedom found in American institutions of higher
    education.

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  • Office of Human Resources: Manual on Sexual Harassment and Nonconsensual Sexual Activity 08-09

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct that relates to the gender or sexual identity of an individual when:

    ...

    (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or social environment.

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  • Student Handbook: College Clubs and Organizations 08-09

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, Statement

    Organized advocacy of a position violating the College's Catholic tradition is not endorsed or funded by the College.

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  • Student Handbook: Misconduct Subject to Disciplinary Action 08-09

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Any student engaging in any of
    the following acts shall be subject to the
    maximum penalty of suspension or dismissal
    from the College:
    ...
    Stigmatizing or disparaging statements
    related to race, gender, ethnicity, sexual
    orientation, religious preference, age or
    people with disabilities.

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  • Office of Human Resources: Manual on Sexual Harassment and Nonconsensual Sexual Activity 05-06

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility, Statement

    EXAMPLES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

    When accompanied by one or more of the three conditions listed above, the following activities constitute sexual harassment. These examples are not intended to be all inclusive.

    [...]

    - Subtle pressure for sexual activity including inappropriate or offensive sexual advances;

    - Repeated staring or ogling;

    - Unnecessary patting or constant brushing against the body;

    - Verbal abuse of sexual nature;

    - Sexual innuendos or sexually explicit statements, comments, questions, jokes or anecdotes;

    - Gender or homophobic harassment: persistently intimidating, hostile, derogatory, contemptuous, demeaning or trivializing remarks directed at one sex, or sexual orientation;

    - Verbal or physical harassment of a person on the basis of sexual orientation;

    - Spreading false statements of a sexual nature.

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  • Student Handbook: Misconduct Subject to Disciplinary Action 08-09

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, Statement

    Any student engaging in any of
    the following acts shall be subject to the
    maximum penalty of suspension or dismissal
    from the College:
    ...
    Lewd, obscene or indecent expression.

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  • Student Handbook: Decorations 08-09

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, Statement

    Students may personalize their individual
    rooms unless it damages the room or offends
    members of the Le Moyne community.

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  • Student Handbook: Abuse of Computer Privileges 08-09

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, Statement

    Abuse includes but is not limited to:
    ...
    sending abusive, obscene or otherwise harassing electronic communications.

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  • Student Handbook: Student Use of College Facilities Policy 08-09

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes, Statement

    No one in his or her speech has the right to use libel, obscenity
    or to incite riot or advocate the forceful overthrow of the United
    States government. This policy further excludes speeches that are
    essentially scandalous or false and speakers without professional or
    personal credentials.

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  • Student Handbook: Harassment and Hate Crimes/Incidents 08-09

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Harassment and hate crimes/incidents include verbal, physical or written abuse directed toward an individual or group on the basis of gender, race, color, creed, national origin, religious preference, sexual orientation, age or disabitility. This includes using remarks, language or illustrations that deprecate or offend a person based on his or her ethnic background, race, religion, sexual orientation, age or disability. All are damaging.

    While some examples of harassment and hate crimes/incidents, such as physcial and verbal assaults, are easily identified, more frequent and generalized instances, such as blatant and subtle graffiti and insensitive use of language, including epithets and "humor," often go unacknowledged. All types of harassment are unacceptable.

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  • Campus Alert: Think like us–or else

    June 4, 2007

    Columbia University’s Teachers College is one of America’s most prestigious education schools. For many students, it’s probably the best—but not if you don’t buy the school’s definition of “social justice.” Teachers College evaluates students in part on the basis of so-called “dispositions,” defined as “observable behaviors” that “involve the use of certain skills.” One “disposition” is the student’s “Respect for Diversity and Commitment to Social Justice.” This warps the discussion of whether a student might make a good teacher into whether that student has the “correct” personal, religious or political beliefs. Evaluating students’ aptitude for teaching based on their commitment […]

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  • Groups Defend Paper Advisor

    May 15, 2006

    Two national organizations have publicly criticized Le Moyne College for planning to replace the adviser of its student newspaper, The Dolphin, against the wishes of the student staff. The two groups are the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, and the College Media Advisers, which serves faculty and staff advisers to college media. College officials in November told Alan Fischler, a tenured English professor who lives in Fayetteville, that they did not intend to renew his contract for the advisory position for the fall 2006 semester. Officials told him the newspaper looked unprofessional because of grammatical and typographical […]

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  • Le Moyne College Condemned for Pulling Student Newspaper’s Adviser

    May 12, 2006

    FIRE Believes Faculty Mentor Was Yanked to Punish Paper for Criticizing the School by Jim Brown Agape Press   A Catholic college in New York State is being accused of unjustly punishing a student newspaper and its faculty adviser for criticizing the school. A spokesman with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) says the adviser’s dismissal by Le Moyne College in Syracuse reflects a growing trend on U.S. campuses toward administrative control of student press.Professor Alan Fischler had served as faculty adviser for Le Moyne’s student newspaper, The Dolphin, ever since he was chosen by its staff in […]

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  • The Week

    February 13, 2006

    [...] At Le Moyne College, Scott McConnell was pursuing a graduate degree in education when he wrote a term paper describing the ideal classroom environment as one that would be “based upon strong discipline and hard work” and that could include “corporal punishment.” He received an A- for the paper, in keeping with his impressive academic record — he boasted a 3.78 GPA and had received an “excellent” evaluation for his classroom work. A few months later, however, he was summarily dismissed from the college by the chairman of the education department. She cited a “mismatch between [his] personal beliefs […]

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  • Judge Orders School to Reinstate Spanking Supporter

    January 23, 2006

    A New York State appeals court on Wednesday ruled that Le Moyne College was wrong to dismiss a student who wrote a paper in support of corporal punishment in elementary school classrooms. Scott McConnell was dismissed from the graduate education program in January 2005 because of a paper he wrote two months earlier that advocated “corporal punishment,” including spanking, as an effective means to create an ideal learning environment. McConnell earned an ‘A-’ on the paper but the program’s director, Dr. Cathy Leogrande, dismissed McConnell on the grounds that she had “grave concerns regarding the mismatch between [his] personal beliefs […]

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  • ‘We Don’t Need That Kind of Attitude’

    December 16, 2005

    Partway through her teacher-training program, Karen K. Siegfried started pulling her red compact car to the far end of the campus parking lot. She didn’t want her professors at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks to see her bumper stickers: One proclaims her opposition to abortion, and the other is emblazoned with the name of one of Alaska’s Republican senators.”It worried me what they could do based on my politics,” says Ms. Siegfried, who had already clashed with education professors over her views on affirmative action and gun control. When Ms. Siegfried disagreed with one professor’s contention that video games […]

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  • Polly gaffes

    April 16, 2005

    By Mark Bergin at World Magazine Scott McConnell disputes the postmodern fads of elementary pedagogy, calling multiculturalism and lax discipline educational stumbling blocks. The former graduate student at Le Moyne College in Syracuse advocates a more traditional classroom—complete with cultural value judgments and corporal punishment. Such ideas, according to Le Moyne officials, merit expulsion. Mr. McConnell’s story tops the Collegiate Network’s 2005 Campus Outrage Awards, an annual listing of ridiculous happenings in academia. The Pollys—so dubbed in mockery of political correctness run amok—are meant to incite more than just chuckles among conservatives. “We want to focus national attention on the absurdity […]

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  • ‘Pollys’ Spotlight Politically Correct Excesses On U.S. Campuses

    April 14, 2005

    By Jim Brown at Agape Press A higher education watchdog group has unveiled its annual “Campus Outrage Awards,” documenting the worst “absurdities” and most egregious examples of political correctness on college campuses this year. The president of Harvard University receiving a faculty vote of no confidence for suggesting that innate differences might account for some of the inequalities between men and women in certain fields of endeavor; and Duke University hosting a Palestine Solidarity Movement conference with a segment designed to recruit students for terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad — those are just two of the dubious honorees […]

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  • 2005 Campus Outrage Awards

    April 1, 2005

    Collegiate Network Duke spends over $50,000 on a tactical training session for activists dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel, while a graduate student at LeMoyne College is expelled for writing that light spanking has a legitimate role in classroom discipline. A UNLV professor is engulfed in a whirlwind of controversy after making a remark about the financial planning habits of homosexuals, while a student at Occidental College is convicted of sexually harassing the whole school over the radio. Ward Churchill is defended by the academic community for declaring that victims of the World Trade Center bombing deserved […]

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  • A Neo-Jesuit Education

    February 25, 2005

    Mainstream higher academia claims to worship “academic freedom” and “free speech” as its highest goods. Alas, Larry Summers is probably preparing his resume while Ward Churchill hits the speaking circuit. Now comes Scott McConnell, an Army veteran and until recently a graduate student in education at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. For advocating a conservative policy, he has learned firsthand where academic freedom draws the line. On paper, McConnell performed well at Le Moyne. Last March, he was conditionally accepted in the Master of Science for Teachers program, grades 7 through 12, for the summer and spring semesters. […]

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  • National group faults Le Moyne

    February 16, 2005

    A national nonprofit group that promotes academic freedom has come to the aid of Scott McConnell, the graduate student denied admission by Le Moyne College last month for opinions he expressed in a term paper, and Ward Churchill, whose scheduled appearance at Hamilton College ignited a firestorm over his post-9/11 writings.   The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education on Tuesday released its recent exchange of letters with Le Moyne officials in McConnell’s behalf. The purpose, said Greg Lukianoff, FIRE’s director of legal and public advocacy, is to draw attention that will force Le Moyne to address McConnell’s case and […]

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  • Student booted for ‘personal beliefs’

    February 16, 2005

    A master’s student at a New York college was kicked out of the graduate education program because of what officials claim was a “mismatch” between his personal beliefs and the goals of the program. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, a nonprofit group, the trouble began when Le Moyne College master’s student Scott McConnell wrote a paper that advocated “strong discipline and hard work” in the classroom and an environment that allows “corporal punishment.”     The paper, written in November, received an “A-,” with McConnell’s professor noting that his ideas were “interesting” and that […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Le Moyne College

    June 1, 2007

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for June 2007: Le Moyne College in New York. Le Moyne College claims to value academic freedom, prominently stating in its Student Handbook that “Le Moyne shares the ideals of academic freedom found in American institutions of higher education.” But Le Moyne maintains a policy that dangerously undermines academic freedom by threatening students with dismissal for making “Stigmatizing or disparaging statements related to race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious preference, age or people with disabilities.” To “disparage” means “to express a negative opinion of,” and to “stigmatize” means “to accuse or condemn […]

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  • Journalism Association Condemns Press Freedom Violations

    August 16, 2006

    Yesterday, the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) reported the August 4 decision by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) to censure a community college in New Jersey for violating freedom of the press. Ocean Community College (OCC) has already been censured by the College Media Advisers, Inc. (CMA), a national organization that advocates for best practices among college media outlets.   According to the SPLC, the AEJMC passed the resolution of censure following the OCC Board of Trustees’ December decision not to renew student newspaper advisor Karen Bosley’s contract.   Bosley’s “offense” was allowing the newspaper […]

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  • Justice for Political Dissenters

    June 8, 2006

    As FIRE reported this week, NCATE, the largest national accreditor of education schools, has decided to drop the term “social justice” from its “dispositions” criteria for student graduation. FIRE’s objection is not that we as an organization are opposed to social justice—far from it. In fact, if anything, FIRE would define its mission as a critical part of social justice for college and university students and professors. After all, how can a society where speech, expression, or religion is not free be a just society?   Clearly, though, there are people who disagree with FIRE; they believe that a just […]

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  • Le Moyne’s Spin

    May 16, 2006

    An article in yesterday’s Syracuse Post-Standard addresses FIRE’s recent case at Le Moyne College. Le Moyne was censured by College Media Advisers (CMA), a national association of newspaper advisers, for dismissing Alan Fischler as adviser from the student newspaper, the Dolphin. The Dolphin’s student staff has been on strike to protest Fischler’s dismissal all year. Le Moyne spokesman Joe Della Posta told the Post-Standard that he was surprised to see Le Moyne on FIRE’s and the CMA’s websites, because “college officials were not contacted by either group for their side of the story.” But representatives from the CMA say that […]

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  • More Shocking Offensiveness from a College Newspaper

    May 9, 2006

    With the ongoing censure of and strike at Le Moyne College that FIRE reported on yesterday, FIRE was reminded that there are many reasons that college administrators have decided that a free press is simply not something with which they should have to contend. The Missouri State cartoon we reprinted on the blog yesterday is a great example. Here’s another one, from Harvard Business School in 2003. See if you can figure out what about this cartoon was so offensive that Dean Kim B. Clark of Harvard Business School considered a violation of Harvard’s “community standards code”:     This […]

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  • Hide Your Children: FIRE’s Granddaddy of Offensive Cartoons!

    May 8, 2006

    Long before the current global cartoon controversy, FIRE was involved with a case at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) involving another divisive editorial cartoon. It prompted outrage from students, caused the university to intervene, and resulted in a faculty press advisor losing her job. What, pray tell, did this horrible cartoon convey?   Behold! (The faint of heart may want to shield their eyes.) Yep, that’s it: the dangerous cartoon that lead to investigations, protests, and the eventual dismissal of a devoted professor as faculty advisor of the student newspaper.   I think the problem might have been that people […]

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  • Le Moyne College Censured for Dismissing Newspaper’s Adviser

    May 8, 2006

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. , May 8, 2006—Exposing a disturbing trend in campus censorship, Le Moyne College has dismissed its college newspaper’s adviser for not exercising more control over the student paper. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) joins the national organization of student newspaper advisers, College Media Advisers (CMA), in condemning Le Moyne’s actions. The staff of the Dolphin student newspaper has also staged a months-long strike in protest. “This is only the latest example of the growing trend of increasing university control over student media,” stated FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “If organizations and individuals do not take a […]

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  • DePaul: The Nightmare That Keeps on Recurring

    April 3, 2006

    Today, the Collegiate Network announced that DePaul University won second “prize” in its Campus Outrage Awards, commonly known as the Pollys. Here’s how the CN put it: DePaul University has essentially declared war on free speech on campus. First, the university suspended—without a hearing—a veteran adjunct professor for daring to debate students handing out pro-Palestinian literature on campus. Next, the administration branded as “propaganda” a College Republican protest of a Ward Churchill speech on campus. Finally, college officials shut down an affirmative action bake-sale sponsored by the campus conservative club and charged the club member who organized the event with […]

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  • FIRE Cases in the ‘Washington Post’

    February 6, 2006

    Sunday’s Washington Post featured an outstanding article by Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute on the disturbing trend toward “dispositions” evaluations in colleges of education. After discussing FIRE cases involving ideological orthodoxy at Washington State University, Le Moyne College, and Brooklyn College, Hess aptly points out, “The cultivation of right-thinking cadres has no place in America’s colleges and universities.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. His piece is well worth a read.

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  • Giving Credit Where Credit’s Due

    January 23, 2006

    As we’ve pointed out repeatedly here on The Torch, erstwhile Le Moyne College student Scott McConnell has been restored to his rights, and Le Moyne certainly doesn’t deserve any credit for that. Far from it: Le Moyne has done everything in its power to keep McConnell out. Even now, it is appealing Wednesday’s court decision.   But there are at least two other organizations that deserve credit for standing up for liberty in this case. One obvious example is the Center for Individual Rights, which so ably represented McConnell in court. And another is the Collegiate Network, headed by FIRE […]

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  • Le Moyne Has No Shame

    January 20, 2006

    According to the Associated Press, Le Moyne College is appealing the court decision reported in yesterday’s FIRE press release: LeMoyne College will appeal a court decision ordering the school to accept a student into its graduate teaching program who was rejected because he wrote a paper advocating corporal punishment, administrators said Thursday.   In the meantime, the Jesuit school said it would abide by the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday and allow Scott McConnell to enroll in classes for the spring semester. The lengths to which Le Moyne is willing to go in order to preserve its […]

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  • Court Strikes Down Unjust Expulsion

    January 20, 2006

    Yesterday’s press release announces an important legal victory for Scott McConnell, the education student whom Le Moyne College ejected for endorsing corporal punishment in an essay for an education class. Two months after receiving an “A-” for the paper, McConnell was dismissed from Le Moyne’s education program because administrators said there was a “mismatch” between his personal beliefs and the program’s goals. FIRE first brought this case to the public’s attention in January of 2005.   McConnell filed a lawsuit against Le Moyne, then appealed when the trial court failed to recognize the injustice in Le Moyne’s disregard for academic […]

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  • Court Rebukes Le Moyne College for Censorship

    January 19, 2006

    SYRACUSE, N.Y., January 19, 2006—A New York appeals court has determined that Le Moyne College wrongly removed graduate student Scott McConnell from its education program for endorsing corporal punishment in class.  The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) first brought McConnell’s case to public attention last year. “This is a great day for all those who believe colleges should keep their promises to students,” said FIRE Interim President Greg Lukianoff, hailing the ruling. “Le Moyne College has learned that it cannot promise freedom and fairness but deliver repression and injustice.” McConnell’s ordeal began with a November 2004 assignment in […]

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  • FIRE’s Work Lauded in Newspapers Nationwide

    December 12, 2005

    It’s been a good couple of days for Justice Brandeis’ maxim that “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” Thanks to articles in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, news of FIRE’s efforts to disinfect the swamps of repression currently passing for American universities is reaching an ever-increasing number of people.   On Sunday, The New York Times covered our recent victory at William Paterson University. (Read it at the Times website if you are a TimesSelect subscriber.) The article by Peter Applebome ran on the front page of the Metro section and thoroughly denounced […]

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  • New York Private College Rules: Not Worth the Paper They’re Written On

    October 4, 2005

    Bad news from the state of New York, where a judge on September 23 declined to grant a preliminary injunction that would make Le Moyne College, a Jesuit institution in Syracuse, re-enroll an education master’s student it expelled on the basis of personal beliefs. FIRE took up McConnell’s cause last spring when we discovered that the school had blatantly ignored its own policies and procedures, as well as its stated commitment to academic freedom, when it summarily threw McConnell out of school.   Let’s remember why McConnell got in trouble: he was asked to write a paper on what he […]

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  • Nontraditional Students

    August 18, 2005

    One of the more interesting aspects of our case submissions is that a disproportionately high number come from “nontraditional” students—those students who are older, married, or often have substantial work experience. Many of our more sensational and egregious cases—including the recent ban on showing The Passion of the Christ at a college in Florida, Scott McConnell’s expulsion from Le Moyne College in New York, Bill Felkner’s troubles at Rhode Island College, and Jihad Daniel’s case at William Paterson University—have involved students in their thirties, forties, and (in Daniel’s case) sixties.   I think there is a good reason for this […]

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  • Teaching Student Expelled

    May 11, 2005

    The New York Sun says a grad student was deemed unfit to teach and kicked out of his program after he expressed skepticism about multicultural education and support for corporal punishment in the classroom. With the backing of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Scott McConnell is now suing Le Moyne College of Syracuse, N.Y., for violation of his First Amendment rights. As part of a class devoted to promoting “inclusive classrooms,” McConnell wrote a paper saying: “I do not feel that multicultural education has a philosophical place or standing in an American classroom, especially one that I will […]

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  • Student Sues N.Y. College Over Dismissal

    May 6, 2005

    A student who claims he was expelled from a training program for prospective teachers because of his support for corporal punishment and his opposition to multicultural education filed a $40 million lawsuit yesterday and demanded to be reinstated. In the suit, Scott McConnell, 26, of upstate Baldwinsville, accused Le Moyne College of Syracuse of violating his First Amendment rights and breaching the school’s duty to abide by its own policies guaranteeing free expression. “This is a particularly egregious violation of academic freedom,” said David French, the president of a student rights watchdog group backing the lawsuit, the Foundation for Individual […]

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  • False Promises Of Academic Freedom

    May 5, 2005

    If you want to get a real glimpse of the thought-tyranny of the academic Left, you should look at the case of Scott McConnell, who was recently expelled from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., because his personal beliefs didn’t fit within the school’s indoctrination grid. The Left, through an extraordinary process of self-deception, routinely congratulates itself for its enlightenment and open-mindedness, but the slightest scrutiny of its behavior in academia alone puts the lie to its claims. Sadly, the Left has even sunk its tentacles into Jesuit colleges like Le Moyne. McConnell was pursuing a masters in education at […]

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  • Student Dismissed for Personal Beliefs Files Multimillion-Dollar Lawsuit Against Le Moyne College

    May 5, 2005

    SYRACUSE, N.Y., May 5, 2005—Today, former graduate student Scott McConnell filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, because it expelled him from its education master’s program based on his personal beliefs. In January 2005, administrators summarily dismissed McConnell because he had expressed views that opposed “multicultural education” and had stated in an academic assignment that “corporal punishment has a place in the classroom.” The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) took up McConnell’s case, reminding Le Moyne, a Jesuit college, that its actions breached its own promises to respect students’ academic freedom and due […]

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  • Liberating America’s Intellectual Gulags

    April 15, 2005

    David French knows what intimidation is.French, the new President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, graduated from Harvard Law School in the early 1990s. One might say that anyone with similar credentials ought to know the definition of intimidation – but French’s experience is a bit more personal than that.“As a pro-life, Christian conservative, I received death threats in my campus mailbox, was shouted down by students and (once) was even shouted down in class by my own professor,” he says about his years in Cambridge. French now spends much of his time explaining to university general counsels […]

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  • Free speech on campus

    March 24, 2005

    LET’S DISPENSE with some tangents right off. It’s a bad idea for teachers to spank students. There’s evidence that women are not innately handicapped when it comes to math and science. And it’s offensive hyperbole to cast the World Trade Center victims of the 9/11 attacks as “little Eichmanns.” But that aside, we don’t have any problems with a student writing a school paper supporting corporal punishment, a university president raising the issue of possible gender differences, and a professor espousing radical ideas. In fact, our society and our universities are better off if faculty and students are allowed to […]

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  • How to ‘Educate’ an Educator

    March 22, 2005

    At Le Moyne College’s school of education, students (future educators) are ironically “educated” that they should shut up or get shut out. Le Moyne’s administrators and faculty might find it helpful to get pointers about what they should have done instead of dismissing Scott McConnell out of the blue for a paper expressing some personal beliefs they found objectionable. A director of teacher education at a university in Canada wrote in to share his experience with similar issues: I am quite aware that many members of our Faculty have pressed to have students dismissed from the programme for no better […]

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  • Le Moyne’s Follies

    March 22, 2005

    Yesterday, NPR ran a report on Scott McConnell’s case at Le Moyne College. The report was extremely well-done and balanced. McConnell and a Le Moyne representative spoke to NPR. Le Moyne’s remarks were nothing short of ridiculous. First, the college hinted that there were other factors involved in Scott’s dismissal, but it could not discuss those facts because of student privacy concerns. This is a typical tactic for universities: by darkly hinting at unknown “additional factors,” the school causes the public to wonder if there are true skeletons in the student’s closet. In this case, we don’t have to wonder. […]

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  • College in Flap over Corporal Punishment Essay

    March 21, 2005

    A dispute has escalated at a small college in New York state and a student who was barred from the school’s teacher training program because he wrote a paper in support of corporal punishment. Le Moyne College says the controversy is not about academic freedom, but about who is qualified to be a teacher. Listen to the radio coverage at NPR’s website.

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  • To paddle or not to paddle? It’s still not clear in US schools.

    March 17, 2005

    When it comes to spanking, there’s no such thing as a consensus in America’s schools. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have outlawed corporal punishment in public schools, all in the past 40 years. But as the number of students feeling the sting of the paddle declines, some parents and educators are digging in to defend it as an effective form of discipline. It’s another symbol of the nation’s red-blue divide. Most states that still allow the practice are in the South and Midwest. But policies long favoring corporal punishment have come up for debate recently on Southern school […]

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  • ‘Favor the Rod, Get the Ax’: FIRE in ‘The New York Times’

    March 10, 2005

    Remember Scott McConnell, the master of education student who, without any warning, got booted out of Le Moyne College for his beliefs? You can review his story in The New York Times today. When reading the Times report, keep in mind that McConnell had already completed practicum work last fall as a requirement for Le Moyne’s teaching program. FIRE’s February 3, 2005, letter to Le Moyne highlights this: Furthermore, McConnell has already completed over 64 hours of practicum work with a host teacher at Franklin Elementary School. The teacher rated McConnell as “excellent” in all of the evaluation criteria and […]

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  • College Expels Student Who Advocated Corporal Punishment

    March 10, 2005

    Read the article at The New York Times website.

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  • FIRE Has Never Been ‘Sheepish’ on the Danger of Confusing Free Speech with Indoctrination

    March 2, 2005

    I wanted to add to David’s post about the article from The Nation. The author wrote: New, well-funded organizations like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) specifically urge universities to monitor and divest themselves of those engaged in “rank political indoctrination”—which even they rather sheepishly acknowledge is an awfully thin line away from political speech. We have been sheepish in acknowledging the care you have to use to distinguish between political speech and indoctrination? Really? Does testifying before the United States Senate to warn about the dangers of confusing “indoctrination” with political speech count as being “sheepish”? I […]

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  • Free Speech Debate Spurs Lots of Words

    February 27, 2005

    When Hamilton College canceled a Colorado professor’s appearance this month because of security concerns, it was only the latest in a recent string of free speech controversies at local campuses. Hamilton, the State University College at Oswego, Wells College and LeMoyne College have all become embroiled in the last year or so in what people should be allowed to say and when. It’s not just a local issue, said David French, president of Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in Philadelphia (FIRE). “The specific problems you’re running into are being replicated on a mass scale across the country,” French said. […]

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  • Le Moyne Responds

    February 22, 2005

    In response to our recent release describing the outrageous violation of academic freedom at Le Moyne College, dozens of FIRE friends and supporters have written the college to urge it to readmit Scott McConnell. One of FIRE’s great friends, Dr. David Ross, received a response from Joe Della Posta, Le Moyne’s director of communications. Here is the relevant portion of the college’s official statement: As an independent institution, Le Moyne has the right to accept or reject—based on a variety of criteria—an individual for acceptance as a matriculated student. If we believe a student is not suitable for the classroom […]

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  • More on ‘Soft’ Violations of Conscience

    February 21, 2005

    Thank you David for the recent post, and I would like to assure him I am not much for skewering (except the barbeque kind). However, I do disagree, in part, with a recent post in which David discussed his thoughts on violations of the right to conscience. I fully agree that “mandatory diversity training, ‘sensitivity training’ as punishment for misconduct, and mandatory first-year orientation programs that teach students the correct way to think about race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion” can potentially violate students’ right to private conscience (you can read more about cases like this in the Guide to […]

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  • Le Moyne College Dismisses a Student—and Free Speech

    February 15, 2005

    Perhaps it is just that FIRE is becoming better known and we are receiving more cases, but it seems to me that the climate for free speech is actually getting worse on campus. In the last 12 months I have seen many of the worst cases of my career. Take, for example, today’s press release: Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., dismissed an education student for writing a paper recommending strict (and some would say “traditional”) discipline for younger students. He got an “A-” on the paper, but then was dismissed from the program by another administrator who cited a […]

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  • Le Moyne College Dismisses Student for Personal Beliefs

    February 15, 2005

    SYRACUSE, N.Y., February 15, 2005—Administrators at New York’s Le Moyne College, which claims to protect academic freedom, have summarily dismissed an education student for writing a paper advocating strict discipline for students.  The chair of Le Moyne’s education department expelled master’s student Scott McConnell because of a “mismatch” between his personal beliefs and the goals of the college’s graduate education program. “Le Moyne College says it respects academic freedom, yet it has dismissed a student purely for expressing personal beliefs that are different from those espoused by administrators,” stated David French, president of FIRE.  “This shows a profound lack of […]

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